UNITED KINGDOM — Breaking now, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher has died. Thatcher died Monday following a stroke, her spokeswoman confirmed to CNN.
She was the first female prime minister of the U.K., and served from 1979 to 1990 as a leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness. Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that.
Political leaders are already speaking out about her. Senator John McCain of Arizona tweeted, “RIP Margaret Thatcher, one of the great leaders of the 20th century.”
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his official statement, “It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton.” Cameron is cutting his Spain trip short to return to London.
Buckingham Palace said that Queen Elizabeth II was sad to hear the news, and will send a private message of sympathy to the family.
Thatcher was 87.